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2008 Inductee Louise Gengler

December 10, 2007 05:38 PM

Louise Gengler began her tennis career while growing up in Long Island with her six brothers and sisters. She played many sports but, like her sisters, focused on tennis at an early age. She was coached by Eddie Moylan at the Piping Rock Club and joined her sisters on the Eastern Tennis Association and National USTA junior circuits. As a junior, Louise’s best rankings were #1 in the Eastern 16s singles and #1 in the Eastern 18s doubles. As an adult she and her sister Margie reached #7 in the USTA women’s doubles rankings.

In 1971, Louise followed her sister Margie to Princeton University and pursued several sports. She was captain of an undefeated field hockey team in 1974 and played on Princeton’s first women’s ice hockey team. In tennis, Louise was undefeated in dual match play all four years of her collegiate career. She played under Eve Kraft her first two years and captained the tennis team her senior year, helping them toward an undefeated 31-0 record for the same four years. In 1975, Louise received the C. Otto Van Keinbusch Sportswoman of the Year award as Princeton’s most outstanding senior woman athlete.

Following graduation, Louise extended her racket reach to platform tennis, playing on the short-lived professional platform tennis circuit and becoming two-time National Champion, as well as Mixed Doubles Champion with Clark Graebner. In 1979, Louise became Head Coach of Women’s Tennis at Princeton, a position from which she retired after 25 years. Under her leadership, the women’s tennis team won seven Ivy League titles, four Eastern Collegiate titles and appeared in NCAA and AIAW national tournaments six times. Princeton was also consistently represented in the national collegiate rankings, with teams named to ITA All-Academic Teams and individuals recognized annually as ITA Scholar Athletes. Both she and her team remained visible in the community, participating in many outreach programs.

Throughout her career, Louise has maintained a commitment to tennis’ governing organizations.  She was a member of the Board of Directors of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association from 1983 to 2004, serving as chair of the Women’s Operating Committee and playing an instrumental role in the strides made in collegiate women’s tennis. 
She also served on the USTA Collegiate Committee in the 1990s, as well as in 2002 and 2003, was chair of the NCAA Eastern Regional Committee for four years, and served on the NCAA National Tennis Committee for six years. 

Since “retirement” as Head Women’s Coach, Louise continues to work for the Princeton Athletic Department as Assistant Director of the Princeton Varsity Club, overseeing the Tigers in Community programs and helping varsity teams with community outreach projects, as well as assisting with student-athlete and alumni programs. She serves on the Boards of the Princeton Tennis Program and the International Tennis Club of USA and is a member of the ITA Endowment and Hall of Fame Committees.  She teaches in the Princeton Tennis program as well as privately, and continues to compete. 

In 2005, Louise’s achievements were recognized by the International Hall of Fame when she was awarded their Tennis Educational Merit Award. 

Date of Birth:  January 22, 1953

1971-75 Undefeated as member of Princeton University Women’s Tennis Team
1979-2004  Head Coach, Princeton University Women’s Tennis Team
1990s, 2002, 2003 Served on USTA Collegiate Committee
1983-2004 Chair, ITA Women’s Operating Committee,
Member, Board of Directors
2004   ITA All Star Team Women’s Coach
2004-2005  Director of ITA Campus and Community Outreach

1975 C. Otto Van Keinbusch Sportswoman of the Year
1989 Rolex/ITA Meritorious Service Award
1997 Named Sports Ethics Fellow, Institute for International Sport
1998  Citizen Athlete Award, Princeton University Athletics
2004 USTA/Middle States Coach of the Year
2005 International Tennis Hall of Fame Educational Merit Award